Summertime Elements Can Cause Window Damage In Houston Homes

August 30, 2013

Summertime can take a toll on your home. Here in Houston, oppressive heat and weeks on end with high relative humidity can be particularly stressful to windows — which can serve as a barrier between two different climate zones.

Here’s a breakdown of several summertime factors here in Southeast Texas can cause window damage.

solar heat

Summertime heat and sunlight can lead to window seal damage. (Image courtesy: NASA Goddard Photo and Video)

Heat and Sunlight

It’s hot out there in the summertime, and it’s often sunny. Texas sun and heat can put a strain on anything within the surrounding environment, including your windows.

Window glass will conduct heat and light, instead of absorbing it. However, intense heating from outdoor sunlight can cause gases in the space between window panes to expand during the daytime, putting extra internal pressure on the panes. As temperatures cool at night, the gases will contract back to their normal position.

While window glass is build to withstand the pressure of expanding gas fills, the seals on the edges of windows can fail over time due to this pressure. Even the strongest seals aren’t designed to expand and contract regularly.

The failure of seals to account for constant pressure changes is a result of their functionality. While structures such as concrete bridges have built in joints to expand or contract with the weather, window seals must serve as a solid barrier at all times.

And window seals aren’t the only summertime victim of excessive heat and solar energy. Frame materials can develop cracks or fade under the strain of constant heat and sunlight during the summer months.

In order to minimize damage to window seals and frames, install windows with improved spacers and Low-E glass. These windows deflect much of the sun’s heat, which makes it harder for cracks to appear in your window seals. Improved spacers and frames — which are built to withstand expanding and contracting due to heat — should also be considered. Finally, weatherproof finishes can help window frames stand up to intense heat and sunlight exposure.

fogged windows

Humidity can lead to condensation on the outer panes of your windows during early mornings


Houston is notoriously muggy during the summer months. Having all that moisture sitting in the atmosphere could cause you to sweat, or make your hair curly. However, it likely won’t have a major impact on your windows.

Most energy-efficient windows use seals, multiple panes of glass and improved frames to block out all the air outside of them. The interior climate of your home won’t mix with the exterior climate, thanks to these features.

On cool, humid mornings, condensation can form on the outside of your windows. This is actually a good thing, since it shows that the windows are effectively keeping your interior and exterior environments separate. The condensation is forming on the coolest part of the window—the exterior pane. (The  higher temperatures of the interior environment of your home makes interior panes warmer). As summer heat cranks up throughout the day, this condensation on the outer panes of your windows will disappear.

However, if you see condensation between the panes of your windows, you might need to replace your windows. Condensation builds between panes when window seals break. As mentioned earlier, the changes in the pressures that gas fills in windows can exhibit during exposure to summer heat could actually lead to broken seals. So, summertime heat could indirectly cause humidity-based damage to your windows.

salt spray

Salt spray can cause damage to your windows, even miles from the coast (Image courtesy: Bettina Neuefeind/flickr)

Salt Spray

Houston is not all that far away from the Gulf of Mexico. Southeasterly breezes and hot days can send much of that Gulf moisture into the atmosphere during the summer months.

Salt spray is part of the mix that fills the skies of Southeast Texas during this time. Even if you live dozens of miles away from coastal areas such as Galveston, southeasterly winds can carry salt sprays inland.

Salt spray can leave an obnoxious residue on your windows. Over time, it can also cause corrosion and decay to window glass, seals and frames. This, in turn, can leave your home and windows susceptible to water damage.

In order to prevent this damage, clean windows with salt residue on them immediately. Also consider adding window frames that won’t corrode easily when exposed to salt.

If you’re looking replace your windows, look no further than Best Investments Siding and Windows. We’ve been installing replacement windows across the Houston area since 1977. To request a free quote, click here or call (281) 852-1866.